Lunch Lecture | Carol Thaler | Great Lakes Biomimicry


Biomimicry (from bios, meaning life, and mimesis, meaning to imitate) is a design discipline that seeks sustainable solutions by emulating nature’s time-tested patterns and strategies, e.g., a solar cell inspired by a leaf.  The core idea is that nature, imaginative by necessity, has already solved many of the problems we are grappling with: energy, food production, climate control, non-toxic chemistry, transportation, packaging, and a whole lot more.

Carol Thaler, Director of Outreach and Administration for Great Lakes Biomimicry will talk about the principles of biomimicry and a guiding force in design. She led Cuyahoga County’s management of Whiskey Island, a 32-acre park on Lake Erie at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River. She also managed the Cuyahoga Valley Initiative, a project to make the Cuyahoga River Valley a living-laboratory for sustainable practices. This regional project revealed the potential of biomimicry to further NEO’s environmental and economic goals.

1309 Euclid Ave. Suite 200
Cleveland, OH 44115
12pm – 1pm



COLDSCAPES Exhibit Opening & Book Release


Join the CUDC on November 15th, from 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm,  for the public opening of the Snowball Pavilion and release party for our new book, Urban Infill Volume 6: COLDSCAPES: Design Ideas for Winter Cities. The Snowball Pavilion is a weather-responsive wood structure installed on PlayhouseSquare’s Star Plaza for one month, which will display boards of winning submissions and honorable mentions from the 2013 COLDSCAPES Competition.

The COLDSCAPES Exhibit and new book are part of the CUDC’s recently launched Center for Outdoor Living Design (COLD), which aims to inspire, develop, and promote innovative approaches to enhance livability in cold climate cities.

The public reception with drinks and light appetizers will be held in Star Plaza at 1302 Euclid Avenue. RSVPs are appreciated via Facebook event page, Eventbrite page, or email at info @ coldscapes.org.

The COLD programming is made possible with the generous support of Cuyahoga Arts & Culture and The Cleveland Foundation.

Read the Cleveland Magazine article on the launch of COLD in their November issue.

More info on COLD available at www.coldscapes.org.


Friday’s Lunch Lecture | David Beach, Director of GreenCityBlueLake

Join us, Friday, October 25th from 12 pm-1 pm, as David Beach presents Building the Livable Edge: Best Practices for Urban Waterfronts.

David will be discussing what makes a great urban waterfront and what are the possibilities for Cleveland.


David has been a visionary voice for sustainability and the environment in Northeast Ohio for more than 25 years. He has been responsible for initiating numerous organizations and projects, including EcoCity Cleveland, the Citizen’s Bioregional Plan, Greater Ohio Policy Center, the City of Cleveland’s Office of Sustainability, and the Cleveland EcoVillage. His writing, editing, and public speaking have helped to shape major civic issues such as regional land use, watershed planning, transportation priorities, and the need to reduce carbon emissions. Recently, he coordinated the PNC SmartHome exhibit of The Cleveland Museum of Natural History, the first building in Northeast Ohio designed to meet the Passive House standard for energy efficiency. In the coming years, he is interested in helping people in Northeast Ohio think more deeply about what it will mean to create a society that will be truly healthy and sustainable in the long run. He lives in the Shaker Square neighborhood of Cleveland, where he enjoys being in a walkable, transit-rich environment. He is a graduate of Harvard University.

1309 Euclid Ave. Suite 200
Cleveland, OH 44115
12pm – 1pm


Ohio City Inc. is seeking a Physical Development Specialist

Ohio City Incorporated, a community development corporation dedicated to the promotion, preservation, and development in Cleveland’s historic Ohio City Neighborhood, is seeking a dynamic and qualified urbanist for an entry level business and physical development position. To learn more about Ohio City Incorporated and to view the full job description please visit their website.



Fall Workshops | Two Opportunities to Learn about the Challenges of Vacant Properties


First, CUDC’s Director, Terry Schwarz, will be presenting two topics at the Ohio Land Bank Conference – Thriving Communities Institute in Columbus on October 23rd.

Redefining Redevelopment

Wednesday, October, 23,  8:25 AM – 9:25 AM

As resources are strained and increasingly more difficult to access, it is critical that we think strategically about how we use funding and tools effectively for the greatest long-term impact. In this joint plenary session, panelists will consider how decisions such as acquiring properties, using demolition dollars, and prioritizing investment impact the larger regional fabric, and will explore the critical role of a master plan in guiding such decisions.

Clustering Vacant Properties for Greater Community Impact

Wednesday, October 23, 1:00 PM – 1:50 PM

Greening and stabilization strategies for individual vacant lots can enhance the curb appeal of a neighborhood and ease the concerns of adjacent property owners. But to have city-wide impact, you’ll need to look at larger agglomerations of vacant sites. This session will focus on planning and design approaches for creating networks of vacant sites that enhance surrounding property values, offer recreational opportunities, provide ecological benefits, and preserve opportunities for future development. The session will also include an approach to classifying different kinds of vacancy and tailoring a response based on prevailing conditions.

For registration information please visit the Thriving Communities Institute website.


Second, Terry Schwarz, along with Alan Mallach, FAICP, and Joseph Schilling will be leading a workshop as part of the APA’s Planners Training Service Workshop Series,  November 8-9 in Chicago.

Tackling the Challenges of Vacant Properties

Vacant properties are everybody’s problem. They blight neighborhoods, reduce property values, foster crime and disease, and never seem to go away.

Coming to closure on vacancies is a challenge for planners in older cities, inner-ring suburbs, even small towns and rural areas. How can you meet the challenge of vacancies in your community? Come to this invigorating new workshop and see how cities and towns across the country are handling the problem. You’ll pick up fresh ideas plus the tools you need to turn vacant properties into community asset.

For more information and to register please visit the APA’s website.


Lunch Lecture October 18th | LakeStat Initiative

Lake Erie and the Cuyahoga River form the historical heart of our region and they have demonstrated great improvement in recent decades. As a Loaned Executive to the Cuyahoga County Executive’s Office, Louis McMahon is working on the continued improvement of the river and lake as a signature of our region’s vitality.

Friday, October 18, Louis McMahon will discuss Cuyahoga County’s new LakeStat Initiative and innovative green infrastructure plan to reduce combined sewer overflows in Cincinnati’s Lick Run Watershed.

This lunch lecture is free and open to the public.

1309 Euclid Ave. Suite 200
Cleveland, OH 44115
12pm – 1pm